Call centers and contact centers are unique animals in the business world. Yet, in a lot of ways, they’re just like the rest of us. These environments have their own measures of success and their own lexicon. But, like any department, what they’re measuring and why should be based on the larger goals.
What are the key goals of the business at large? How can the contact center help achieve those goals? What key performance metrics should the contact center be tracking and working to improve in service of that strategy?
Once they answer these questions, contact centers need to benchmark where they are with their key performance indicators – like adherence, average conversation time, call deflection, and first call resolution. It’s also important to look at where competitors are on these fronts. And setting goals related to KPI improvements can help motivate contact center workers to move the needle in the right direction.
Understanding where you are and where you need to be is a big part of improvement. So is identifying common challenges and working to address them before they become bigger problems.
For example, call center agent churn is a big problem in customer service. You spend the time and money to recruit, hire, and onboard an agent only for that person to leave months later – just as they were hitting their stride.
There are a wide variety of things contact centers can do the stem agent churn. They can lay out a career track for successful agents so they have room to grow, create a culture of empowerment instead of micromanagement, give agents flexibility in scheduling and shifts, provide them with helpful and omnichannel productivity tools, do team building, offer upfront and ongoing training, and remember to recognize and reward top performers.
Of course, these efforts should have far-ranging results that go beyond just helping with agent retention. They can also help improve KPI and customer experience and satisfaction.